"To me, life has always been a poem."
 ~ Student, John Morony Correctional Centre


Our approach

Unlocked invites poets and hip-hop artists into prisons to run intensive creative literacy programs that help inmates to share their stories, improve self-expression and reconnection with community. 

Read the Unlocked Report

Why Unlocked

The Red Room Company believes that poetry has the power to transform lives. Through creative education programs like Unlocked we work to enhance literacy and expression for some of the most socially marginalised members of our community. Since launching the program in 2010 we have run 15 programs with 8 poets in 10 locations across NSW. The program has brought poetry to the lives of over 130 inmates and juveniles, providing opportunities for creative expression and reflection through the reading, writing and sharing of poetry. Click here to find out what to expect from an Unlocked program. 


"The poetry produced by inmates in our centre captured the unspoken stories of their lives, of their hopes and dreams that have never been realised or shared, of death, lost love and the dark days of incarceration. Their words revealed their humanity and gave me a window through which I could understand and engage them at a much deeper level. Seeing the world through their poems has opened the door to a much richer and more meaningful dialogue with each of them allowing for positive changes - a reframing of self - to take place in their lives.”

~ Tim Wilson,  Compulsory Drug Treatment Correctional Centre 

Support Unlocked

To continue changing lives through creative expression, we need your support.
Your tax deductible gift helps to:

  • take Unlocked into regional and remote communities
  • train culturally diverse poets to deliver the Unlocked program
  • produce Unlocked print anthologies for inmates and their communities


The Red Room Company Public Fund is a fund listed on the Register of Cultural Organisations and has Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status.


Donations of $2 or more to The Red Room Company in Australia are tax deductible for Australian tax-payers.

Buy An Anthology

After each Unlocked workshop, student poems are collected into an anthology for sale from the Red Room Store for only $10. All proceeds go towards future Unlocked programs.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body, and the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education through VET National Programs Funding. Unlocked is also supported by 2SER' Jailbreak radio show.

For more information

Contact Executive Director, Dr Tamryn Bennett  02 9319 5090.